Monday, January 28, 2008

The UTA BRT line on 3500 South.

Rapid Bus
Originally uploaded by skew-t
For regular readers of this blog, you will remember that I have been critical of UTA and its BRT program on 3500 South. I thought it was a bad idea when the route was going to supplement the 35, now that I have found out they plan to kill the 35, it makes the BRT a bigger fraud than normal BRT schemes.

No transit system that I know of has replaced regular bus service with BRT. They have supplemented the existing service not replaced it so UTA is in uncharted waters, and when it comes to bus service UTA doesn't do well in chartered waters.

So what will this BRT bring to the table.

Is the route at capacity already? NO. While the 35 is one of the busiest in the UTA fleet it is not overburdened. Existing service can handle

Will the BRT create new markets? NO. The route will follow the existing 35 so no new markets are created. In fact by eliminated so many stops and making customers walk so far to bus stops they are actually loosing market not gaining it.

This route carries lots of intermediate traffic. This route needs improvements but this is a down grade in service not an upgrade.

This is an incredible waste of resources. As I have stated previously UTA would have been better off redoing curbs at important stops, assigning all low floor buses, and doing traffic light preemption. It would have cost less and improved the route more than what is being proposed.

In addition they are buying a small fleet of Volvo buses like the one pictured being used by AC Transit in Oakland, California. Not only will create an orphan bus like the 1998 New Flyer Articulated buses, but these buses have been maintenance nightmares. UTA will have to have a special supply of parts just for these buses.

It appears that UTA Customers are going to suffer in order for UTA to implement this project since they have the funding. This is bad transit policy, it is bad customer policy, it is bad marketing policy, it is bad public relations policy.

UTA has a large number of these BRT routes planned. If they are planning on cutting all local service when they are implemented, then these projects need to be killed now, before we pay the price for bad policy.

1 comment:

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

I think the buses used by AC Transit are Van Hools and have been subject to a lot of complaints. I think Light Rail Now! has photos of the interiors. Volvo buses are the ones used in Curitiba.